Happy New Year and 2011 LEGO Shopping

I want to extend a Happy New Year to everyone in the Minifig Nation! I hope that everyone has both a fun and safe celebration tonight. Thanks to everyone for making 2010 a fantastic year, and hoping that 2011 is even better!

As we approach midnight in many countries, LEGO Shop at Home should begin to offer the new 2011 products including Series 3 Minifigures, Ninjago, and even the new LEGO Harry Potter Diagon Alley, just to name a few. If you still have a little bit of holiday money still burning a hole in your pocket, click over to LEGO Shop at Home today. You can find the link to your country here (US | Canada | UK).

The Ninjago Master Wu key chain offer should be affect in all three countries with orders of a sufficient size ($75USD & CAN | 55 GBP). I received a LEGO 2011 Catalog in the mail yesterday. The catalog mentioned that code 'SW51' needed to be used at checkout to receive the keychain; however, the information on the website does not mention the code. Just be certain that the key chain has been added to your order before finalizing check-out.

Also head on over to BrickArms tomorrow morning as the Modern Combat Pack Version 2 should be available for $16 USD.

Custom Crazy should also be open for business too! I'm expecting other announcements tomorrow, so it could be a busy day.

It looks like we'll have lots of ways to bring in the new year with a bang!

Jolly Roger II Contest at Forbidden Cove

I kinda dropped the ball with the Colossal Castle Contest this year, not announcing the custom minifig categories until late in the game. I plan to rectify that with Forbidden Cove's Jolly Roger II Contest.

There's lot of categories for vignettes and ship building, but BrickArms is sponsoring a custom minifig category for Pirates of the Caribbean. You can see all of the contest categories here.

So hoist the colors mateys and get ta buildin'. You have until March 15th, 2011 to submit your entries.

Those Darn Dots! Frustrations with Series 3 Cheats

Just as the AFOL community patted themselves on their collective backs for cracking the Series 3 dot codes, it is turning out that the system isn't always reliable.

Victor wrote to let me know that even with the cheat sheet in hand, he felt the codes didn't always get the job done (the baseball player codes didn't seem to be terribly accurate). I'm posting an improved cheat sheet above (click the image for a larger view) from phamjod which originally appeared on FBTB. This adds the placement of the creases on the bag to aid identification. This sheet seems to be 'better', but you may still face challenges. I'll work to update the link in the guides, but at least you will have this for now. 

This has only been confirmed for the US to date. A cheat sheet for the UK/EU has not materialized to the best of my knowledge.

With January 1st, the official launch date of Series 3, a day away, I hope this will help you find the figures you are looking for.

Remember that if you question the dots on your package, you can always try to 'feel it out' through the bag.

Happy hunting!


Reminder: UD Minifig Design Battle Contest

We have reached the halfway point in this month's Minifig Design Battle - The Sinister Toymaker. Four combatants have entered the arena to date. A big thanks to Legoagogo, Faligi, Flaming Feonix, and Professor McRackel for their entries. I'm hoping to see many more before this month's contest closes on January 16th (12:01am EST). If you've not seen the design brief you can check out the original post or go straight to the Flickr group page.

This month’s winning prize is sponsored by FireStar Toys, where the victor will receive a gift card to FireStar worth £25 (approximately $40 USD*) which can be used on a wide variety of LEGO brand products, custom minifigures, or custom accessories from companies like BrickArms, Tiny Tactical, Si-Dan Toys, or Amazing Armory Ltd., to name a few. You can start planning on how to spend your winnings by visiting FireStar Toys today.

Questions about this contest or the rules should be submitted to Cygnet at uglyduck.bricklink@gmail.com.

To those who are about to design, we of the Minifig Nation salute you. Good luck!

*Exact value in US Dollars is dependent on the currency exchange rates at that time.

Toy Break Internet Show

I'm certain I've mentioned Toy Break in the past (likely when Gary McIntire was a guest on their show). I just finished watching their most recent episode at their website where they talked several LEGO related topics. I'm assuming that many of you have interests in toy land beyond the fig, so I thought you might enjoy. 

There's even a part where a few minifig customizers sent in a Christmas present to the show (about 10 minutes in). I will have to see if I can find these guys as their names were not familiar to me. I really liked MonsterForge's stuff.

In the most recent episode they asked the question, "Is there a group who does minifig customization out there?" I dropped them a line to let them know, "Yes, Virginia, there is a LEGO minifig customization community." Ayleen seemed to be more aware of the community than George...

Check out the Toy Break website when you get a chance. In addition to their weekly internet show they have forums and other fun. I'll be haunting the forums in the future and will report back on any LEGO related goodness.

New LEGO Star Wars and NinjaGo Adverts

A Modular Life shares several adverts from Toys R Us Hong Kong featuring new 2011 LEGO sets. You can see all of the ads on their site, but I've selected two I really enjoyed.

The first is a LEGO Star Wars ad featuring the T6 Jedi Shuttle and Bounty Hunter Assault Gunship. Nice animation featuring the great minifigures that come with each set. I dare you not to say, 'Pew, pew,' while watching it.

The second ad is for NinjaGo, which is seems I've been mispronouncing the name this entire time. I thought it was pronounced like 'Ninja Go', and instead it must be 'Nin-jog-o'. Listen to the ad and you will see. I picked the ad featuring Cole, because who doesn't like a Ninja in classic black. Enjoy!

BrickArms Modern Combat Pack, Version 2

It looks like BrickArms wants to hit the ground running into the new year with a second version of the Modern Combat weapons pack. Retailing for $16 USD the pack will include two items of each of the following products:
  • HCSR
  • Combat SMG
  • Tactical PDW
  • PSR
  • AC8 (Not pictured in photo)
  • Assault Carbine
  • Combat PDW
Colors remain a mystery, but you won't have to wait long. This will be available on the BrickArms store January 1st, 2011!


Thrash's Custom Tutonic Knight Accessories

Not many customizers can say, "I need a new part. I think I'll design one in CAD and have it made." Ryan (AKA Thrash) is one of the few who can.

The dagger, sword, and fantastic helmet were all created as part of Ryan's entry into the CCCVIII Realistic Castle Figure contest. Not only are the accessories custom made, but the cape and torso decals are as well. Brilliant work!

I don't know if Ryan plans on entering the customs business any time soon, but with skills like these, I would say he's off to a good start.

Check out the rest of Trash's work on his Flickr stream. You can also check out the other entries to the Classic Castle contest here.

Fantastic Custom Elf Decals

Customizer ED-209 has created a series of decals to assist in his quest to build an nation of Series 3 Elves. There are several different variations and each one is indistinguishable from TLG quality.

Check out all of the designs on the Eurobricks Minifig Customization forums.

Series 3 Collectible Minifigures in Cardiff, Wales (UK)

Luke reports in to let me know that the LEGO Store in Cardiff, Wales (UK) has the Series 3 Collectible Minifigures. This is now three confirmed sightings in the UK which have been added to our interactive Google Map

Saturday, January 1st is the 'official' launch date for Series 3; however, if you find any in advance please drop a pin on the map or drop me a line an let me know.

Adventures in Digital Presentation

It seems that Pecovam is working to bring his presentation skills to the next level. He has several shots of his custom minifigures with digital backdrops to take his already fantastic customs to new heights. Andrew is partnering with Wes Smith on the digital backdrops.

If you would like to learn more on how to add a little 'punch' to your presentations, check out the 'Digital Backgrounds' tutorial in our collection by Jamie Spencer. What's that you say? You can't buy fancy and expensive software to design like the pros, because you blew all your X-mas money on NinjaGo figures? No worries, check out the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), a free, open-source alternative to Photoshop.

You can see more of Pecovam's designs on his Flickr stream.

eclipseGRAFX's Governator

eclipseGRAFX is putting together some custom minifigures depicting Arnold Schwarzenegger in his most recent role as the Governor of California. Victor is hoping to price these around $12 USD once they are finalized.

While you're waiting, check out the rest of Victor's wares at the eclipseGRAFX BrickLink store.


Tanotrooper's Star Wars TTfigs

Tanotrooper's TTfigs add a little 'something' to the design of any custom minifigure. Although his renditions of several Star Wars characters appeared a few days ago, I just saw this battle-damaged version of Darth Vader and had to post it.

One of these days I'll scrounge up enough parts to build a TThorse as well.

Check all of them out at Tanotrooper's Flickr stream.

LEGO Toy Story Brickfilm by Paganomation

David Pagano created this LEGO Toy Story brickfilm for TLG earlier in the year, but they are now just appearing on his YouTube channel. David has always produced some great stop motion animation. Enjoy!

LEGO Star Wars Minifigures: T-Series Tactical Droid

The T-Series Tactical Droid is exclusive to set 7868, Mace Windu's Jedi Starfighter. This is a new figure for the LEGO Star Wars universe.

Minifigure Parts and Accessories
The Tactical Droid is comprised of four parts: two arms, legs, and a combination torso/head.

The head piece and torso are all one molded part with attachments for the arms and legs.

The arms are a dark bluish gray version of part 30377. It is believed that the left arm in the picture above is not attached correctly (it is upside down).

The legs are also dark bluish gray and are often seen on Super Battle Droids (part x281).

Comparing the figure to the reference photo on the right would suggest that LEGO captured many of the details of the torso quite well. The arms and legs are not quite the same, but expected for the sake of economy.

Army Building Potential
The ABP for this figure is moderate. Tactical Droids add variety to your separatist armies, but were not as numerous as other droids.

Big Draw
As the selection of droid parts expands, the new parts from this figure could be desired for potential mixing and matching. Also given that this is the first time these types of droids have been available, collectors will likely seek this out.

(Pictures via KimT's Flickr stream and Wookiepedia)

Eurobricks NinjaGo Reviews

Although I'd love to do a whole set of guide entries focused on NinjaGo, it doesn't seem to be in the cards right now. No worries, however, as Eurobricks has a nice collection of set reviews.

One of those reviews showed off a character list (pictured above) of the key players in the NinjaGo universe. Note 'Chopov' and what appears to be a black pot helmet from the Toy Story soldiers. Other baddies of note are 'Garmadon' and the four-armed 'Samukai'.

These designs are very much in the style of Mike Rayhawk, who has done designs for LEGO in the past. I believe Mike is a reader of the site, so hopefully he can talk about his involvement with these sets (or at least let us know if the card art is his!)

Check out the collected reviews on Eurobricks and start planning which sets you'll purchase today. Officially, these are set to go on sale January 1st, but I've heard a few sets have made their way onto shelves a little early.

Powerpig Reveals All!

...about lighting day 23 of his 2010 Advent calendar series, that is. I'm a big fan of lighting and presentation, and if you've ever seen Chris McVeigh's (AKA Powerpig) toy photography it doesn't disappoint.

Using a combination of shots and digital wizardry, Chris has used a 'masking' technique to blend elements together. The end result is a fantastically lit piece worthy of your yearly holiday cards. You can see the full description here.

Chris has a separate Flickr stream where he shares his photography set ups. You can also view his main Flickr page and buy stuff from his RedBubble store.

If you've ever considered trying your hand at digital photo manipulation, but have been turned off by the high price of expensive software packages, may I recommend looking into GIMP. Although the name evokes images of the movie 'Pulp Fiction' (as in 'bring out the...'), GIMP is a free, open-source software package that allows you to perform many of the same techniques as Photoshop provides. A quick download and a library card (for a how-to book) can get you on your way. Check out the GIMP website when you get a chance.

A Hive of Scum and Villainy

Legofenris gives us a great holiday gift with this depiction of Brow's Place, the roughest bounty hunter bar in the quadrant. Great lighting and presentation really sets the mood and tells a story.

You can see more of legofenris' work on his Flickr page. I don't see a way to buy prints, but if someone knows how, let us know!

Diagon Alley Now Available at UK Shop at Home


It would seem that the UK Shop at Home site has just released the LEGO Harry Potter set 10217, Diagon Alley, ahead of schedule (perhaps to get some additional sales on the books before years end?) This is a LEGO exclusive, so unless you have a bricks and mortar LEGO store near you, this may be difficult to come by.

Retailing at 132.99 GBP. The set comes with 11 minifigures including exclusives of the Weasley Twins and Mr. Olivander. I still can't tell from the pack shots if the Gringott's Goblins have facial print, but I would be surprised if otherwise.

Pick up the new Diagon Alley set at Shop at Home today!


Quick Hits: All Quiet on the LEGO Front

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays has largely passed us by, it seems relatively quiet in the Minifig Nation. There are a few items of note, however...

BrickForge is revamping their forums with a new 'skin' and some new forum topics. Armothe and company are working to make their corner of the minifig and customization community as useful as possible. If you haven't checked out the BrickForge forums, now might be a great time.

I've been trying out some new layouts for the pages in an attempt to improve the interface (especially as we keep adding more product reviews and interviews). If you run into any issues or have any difficulties, please just drop me a line.

The site is now a LEGO affiliate for the UK and Canada, as well as the US. A somewhat anticlimactic announcement, as I'm sure many thought we had affiliations in these countries already. What does this mean for you? I'm hoping it means we will have more specific news on sales and deals with Shop at Home in Canada and the UK. The tricky part? Well, the way affiliate sales work is that you link to Shop at Home via our site, but you must do so through special links we provide. So instead of everyone hitting a single link from our site and ending up in their country's Shop at Home store, you have to make certain you hit the link that goes with your home country. Confused yet?! I'll be working on finding ways to make the process as seamless as possible. In the meantime, I appreciate any an all support our readers provide.

On that note, there is a new promotion being offered at LEGO Shop at Home. Orders above $75 USD and CAD will be eligible for a free Master Wu key chain from the NinjaGo line. UK shoppers need 'only' to spend £50 to participate in this promotion. You can find out more by following your country's specific link (US | Canada | UK). Do note that for the time being the banner at the top of the page only 'works' for US customers.

I'm hoping for more news in the coming days. We should expect quite a bit of news come January 1st, as there are new, exclusive products available at Shop at Home, and some planned activities at the custom houses. More as it becomes available...

Minister of Information
Ugly Duck Command Center
Minifig Nation

A Call for Customization Tutorials

We all have our own vision for what a good LEGO fan site does for the broader community. I for one, think the difference between good sites and great sites are in their ability to help people grow and learn. It is because of this we try to offer as much as we can on customization, photography, and presentation tutorials.

I hope that a few people have had a chance to peruse our page of collected tutorials and find an article or two that has been helpful.

We are always looking for new tutorials to add to this collection. If you know of a tutorial you've found to be helpful, please let us know. If you are looking for a way to post your own tutorial, we may even be able to help with that. Here's hoping we can help folks reach their full potential when it comes to their endeavors with the fig.

As always, please read our tutorials disclaimer before attempting any of the suggestions or techniques described on or link to by this site.


Rundown of 2011 Sets on Brickset

So there's been quite a bit coming out on various sites about the 2011 LEGO sets being released through all of next year. If you don't want to scour the interwebs, or wonder if you've heard about them all, you can check out the 'sets not released' page at Brickset. Huw has managed to capture just about all the sets for next year across a variety of themes.

The set I'm most surprised and excited about? The LEGO Star Wars Advent calendar. Yeah, I thought that might get your attention...

New Dacta Minifig Collections in UK

So I believe Huw posted this news first on Brickset, but there appears to be two new minifigure collections associated with the Dacta LEGO line. Dacta is often affiliated with educators, but these two sets appeared on the main UK LEGO site. 

The Fairytale and Historic Collection and Community Minifigure Collection are brand new to 2011. LEGO has released similar minifig collections through their education arms before but the Fairytale and Historic Collection (pictured above) is a new one.

I looked on the LEGO Education site run by Pitsco in the US, but no mentions as of yet. You don't need to be an educator, by the way, to purchase from LEGO Education. I've done so on a couple of occasions.

As always there's the question of 'quality' (one of these days I'll talk to LEGO and get the real skinny on this whole 'Chinese plastic' debate). The UK site has 22 figures listed for 40 GBP. There do appear to be a nice collection of various minifig parts and elements so you may want to check it out when you get a chance.

As always, we'll let you know if and when these sets might be available outside of Europe.

You can read the full article on Brickset.


A Big Thank You to Family Bricks

I just read the article on The Brothers Brick where Nannan supplied some stats on this year's record breaking efforts on behalf of Toys for Tots

Who do you think the biggest contributor to this years effort happened to be? Family Bricks' custom minifigs were able to generate around $900 this year alone for the cause, more than anyone else. This is a proud day for both the broader LEGO and customization community.

If you have the chance, drop Family Bricks a line and congratulate him on this wonderful accomplishment.

If I also understand correctly, thanks are due to Will Chapman of BrickArms as he donated many custom accessories to help FB with his creations this year.

You can read the article on The Brothers Brick, you can check out Family Bricks website and drop him a line or buy one of his customs, and you can see all that BrickArms has to offer at their store.

Also thanks to everyone who donated creations or made a cash offering to the cause. We of the Minifig Nation salute you.


Huge 50% Off Sale Now at LEGO.com

Did ya get some LEGO gift certificates or a check from grandma? You may want to run down to the LEGO Shop at Home Sales and Deals page as they have several sets at 50% off right now! These deals aren't likely to last so hurry! Just click the banner at the top of the page and look for 'sales and deals'.

We now return you to the 24 hour marathon of 'White Christmas'...

Merry Christmas to All!

I wanted to extend a Merry Christmas to everyone out there in the Minifig Nation. Here's to hoping there's lots of LEGO in your stocking come tomorrow morning!

We'll be taking the weekend off to eat too many cookies and drink too much nog, but we'll be back 'on the air' starting Monday. The ghost of Christmas present may still haunt Flickr to update our favorites, so you may want to check out or Flickr Favorites page, if you are looking for a minifig fix over the weekend.

Happy Holidays!
Minister of Information
Ugly Duck Command Center
Minifig Nation

Custom Crazy Launch Date

It's official, Custom Crazy will be opening for business on January 1st, 2011. You can check out some of their items at the Custom Crazy website. Yay, for new custom houses.


A Bevy of Brickfilms to Enjoy

Three brickfilms to share tonight. Two are associated with the Bricks in Motion THAC 8 and the other is some holiday fun from OldScratch. Enjoy!

Exobrick's Fantastic Combos

 Exobrick has always been adept at taking several official and custom parts and creating something with real appeal. His latest creation is no exception.

The hat is from Si-Dan, the body wear is from BrickTW, and the gas mask and shield are from Amazing Armory. The Auto-9 hand cannon is courtesy of BrickArms, while the cape and sheath are from MMCB.

The head? It's from the new LEGO Star Wars Embo minifig. I can see the head for this and the Imperial Pilot showing up in a lot of custom creations this year.

You can see other create customs from Exobrick via his Flickr stream. If you are interested in checking out where you can get some of these great custom parts, check out Minifig.Cat (Si-Dan), BrickTW, MMCB, and BrickArms. These specific Amazing Armory items can be purchased from FireStar Toys. Similar items can also be purchased from United Armory in the US and Canada.


LEGO Star Wars Minifigures: Luminara Unduli

Luminara Unduli is exclusive to set 7896, Battle for Geonosis. This is a new version of Luminara who last appeared in set 7260, Wookie Catamaran.

Minifigure Parts and Accessories
Luminara is made up of four parts: a head piece, head, torso, and leg assembly.

The head piece appears to be a new mold, different from the part that appeared with sw116.

The head is a new female print in light flesh with almond shaped eyes and purple lips. The head is dual-sided with the second head-print showing Luminara with goggles.

The torso and arms are black with flesh hands. The torso print is nicely detailed showing off her amulet and belts.

The hips and legs are black with print on both. The leg print is only on the front of the figure.

The accessory for this figure is a green lightsaber. Again the lightsaber does not light up as with sw116.

Comparing the figures to the reference photo on the right would suggest that LEGO captured many of the details quite well.The skin tone could have been darker, but otherwise is a good match.

Army Building Potential
The ABP for this figure is low. This character was distinctive and singular.

Big Draw
The entire figure has parts that have a lot of custom potential. Aside from the lightsaber, all of the main parts are desirable.

(Pictures via KimT's Flickr stream, Eurobricks, and Wookiepedia)

Cake and Neave - The Little Artists

Malifios'...I mean...Dali's Lobster Phone
 John Cake and Darren Neave are two artists who have been taking several works of popular contemporary art and transforming them into LEGO-fied versions. These LEGO sculptures are then enlarged via photography. I'm certain I'm not doing their work justice in its description, so I thought I would include an excerpt from their website:

'The sculptural pieces transpose key works, by the likes of Hirst, Beuys and Koons, to the microcosmic scale of the Lego world, forming miniature, fetishistic relics that subvert the grand gestures of these artists. Their large photographs take these works and artists and re-present them as tableaux vivants, confronting the viewer with the once tiny Lego world on a unsettling human scale.

The central theme to their work is an attempt to understand the significance of contemporary art and the consumerist culture in which it is produced. They have always seen a poignancy in Lego as a medium to explore this relationship, and especially the idea of the artist as a brand-name.'

See? Just like I described it. Personally I just find it 'neat'. You can see more of Cake and Neave's work on their website.

Rumor Mill: 2011 Space Theme and Glued Magnet Sets

Over the past few weeks, there's been a lot of discussion on two topics, discussion that many would not have seen unless they read the comments. I thought it might be interesting to bring some of the findings to a forefront, specifically relating to a new 2011 Space theme and a possible reason 'why' the magnet sets are now glued.

The first rumor started a few days back (for me) when FBTB posted their invite to the LEGO meet-and-greet at this year's US Toy Fair. There were two minifigures pictured that had not been 'designated' to any known LEGO sets. I guessed that the female spacer and green alien (pictured here) may have been attached to Series 5 of the Collectible Minifigures, but I'm starting to doubt that prediction now.

It seems that the Sci-Fi community on Eurobricks has been debating this for a little over a month now when someone shared this description of a set seen in a pdf given to dealers for 2011 sets:

'Also, there was some strange battlepack for what seems to be a new theme replacing Space Police III, something along the lines of Alien Invasion or something, I can't recall the name exactly. Saw 2 aliens, different heads but a rather disgusting colour of green with 2 what seems like Power Miners suited soldiers and a Civilian-like figure.'

At the time, the forum members didn't have the recent pics, but speculation started that this could be an 'Alien Invasion' theme. The pictures seem to corroborate with the description above. Also, note the female spacer has a logo on the torso that looks like the letters 'ADF' - Alien Defense Force, perhaps?

It is very likely that no one will 'really' know until February what sets these figures are actually attached to. I'm personally hoping that if there's an Alien Invasion theme there will be some soldier figs in dark or sand green to represent a military defense for planet earth (those pot helmet molds from Toy Story have to be reused somehow). We may also see Naval military minifigs using the new sailor elements from Series 4, and don't be surprised if the Radioactive Man from Series 4 doesn't make an appearance in these sets along the way.

The second rumor deals with 'why' LEGO decided to glue the magnet minifigures to their bases. A lot of the initial response was along the lines of, 'the license partners are unhappy', 'they were hurting set sales', and 'LEGO/Lucas/Disney/WB is just greedy'. Although along some of these lines, there may be more detail on why one license partner was unhappy, specifically Lucas. Even to point the finger at Lucasarts is not quite fair, it seems that Lucas has an agreement with Hasbro relating to the sale of 'action figures'.

What I have heard is that because the minifigures could easily be removed from the magnets, this crossed the line in the eyes of Hasbro as being on 'their turf'. Lucas not being a business and not a charity, asked LEGO to change practices. LEGO agreed, but it would be a logistical nightmare to have some magnet sets glued and some not. Hence, why all magnet sets starting with Pharaoh's Quest will be glued.

I have to believe that the magnets were having a negative impact on set sales. I used to track the prices of minifigures on BrickLink. I noticed that minifig prices would drop on BrickLink by 30% to 40% once a magnet set featuring that fig debuted. Good old supply and demand. LEGO may have jumped the gun and not managed the rollout of the magnet sets sufficiently, however. Magnet sets should not debut in the first wave with the sets that feature them. If anything, they should come out in the late second wave or third wave of play themes. Why would you buy any of the pricer sets when on the same day they launch, you can buy all the minifigures in a $14.99 USD magnet set?! Prince of Persia was the first set to do this, and the same thing has happened with Harry Potter. I'm certain if timed right, the economics of the magent sets would have worked! There is a silver lining to all of this...we will likely see more 'battle pack' offerings in the future across all lines.

That's all for now. Looking forward to continuing the conversation...

Series 3 Soon, 2011 Star Wars Now at LEGO.com

Will dropped me a line to let me know that Series 3 Collectible Minifigures are soon to be available at LEGO Shop at Home on January 1, 2011. It does appear that $2.99 USD is the new MSRP, as these are listed as such (I knew they had to pay for that back torso print somehow). There will be a limit of 16 figures per order.

I'm also seeing the 2011 LEGO Star Wars sets are now appearing for sale.

Head on over to LEGO Shop at Home now and check them out! You can find the figures by clicking the 'New In Shop' link and then 'Minifigures'. The Star Wars products can be found by clicking the relevant links on the same page.

ABP Alert - Prince of Persia Desert Attack 50% Off

Hot on the heels of yesterday's discount on the LEGO Toy Story Army Men, Amazon now has the Prince of Persia Desert Attack set listed for $5.49 USD, a 50% savings!

Ostrich Race and the Space Police Smash 'N Grab sets are also listed at 50% off, but the minifig potential is lower. Nevertheless, a fantastic deal.

You will want to hurry. Amazon raised the prices on the Army Men set the same day it went on sale, so these offers may not last for long.

Thanks to Toys N Bricks for the news.


The First Sinister Toymaker Has Arrived!

Professor McRackel is the first on the board with his rendition of The Sinister Toymaker, this month's Minifig Design Battle character. I'm looking forward to seeing all of this month's entries!

Remember that FireStar Toys is offering a 25 GBP (approximately $40 USD*) gift card to their online store for the winner. 

You can check out more from 'the professor' on his Flickr stream.  

*Exact value in US Dollars is dependent on the currency exchange rates at that time.

Cashman 2: Man of Cash

A nice little brickfilm to kill the time when the boss ain't lookin'. I really like the tagline for this film - 'If you're good at something, never do it for free'.

I missed the original Cashman, but I'm sure you can find it on Philip Heinrich's YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Product Review - BrickForge Soldier's Gear

Today’s product review focuses on several new items from custom house BrickForge that we are classifying under a common theme of ‘soldiers gear’. Although we compare many of the items here to items used by military groups during World War II, they can have a wide variety of uses and purposes no matter what theme or subject area. The items under review today include the Backpack, Ammo Pouches, Canteen, Shovel, and Grease Gun.
BrickForge Soldier's Helmet (Sand Green)
Another recent release which could easily fall under the ‘soldier’s gear’ category is the BrickForge soldier helmet. This was reviewed recently with other military headgear which can be found here.

It is our objective to provide everyone with enough information to decide which of these products are right for you.

BrickForge Backpack (Dark Tan)
The BrickForge backpack is not modeled or styled after any particular backpack or rucksack. This accessory has applications for your military minifigures, as well as for campers, adventurers, and mountain climbers. 

The backpack is hollow on the inside allowing for storage of small accessories, but does not open. It attaches to the minifigure via the head post as shown.

The BrickForge backpack is unique in that it has two clips on each side allowing for additional accessories to be added. The picture here shows both the shovel and canteen attached; however, any accessory that can be held in a minifigure hand should be able to clip on.

The backpack sits higher on the minifigure’s back so it can be used with other BrickForge accessories like the centaur bodies or to allow for ammo pouches to sit beneath. The top of the pack is also low enough to not only work with various military and soldier helmets, but also other LEGO head gear which come down to the back of the figure's neck. This is not possible with the standard LEGO rucksack with bedroll.

The backpack comes in seven colors - Black, Dark Blueish Gray, Dark Orange, Dark Tan, Reddish Brown, Tan, and White.

BrickForge Ammo Pouches (Dark Tan)
The BrickForge ammo pouches are a new accessory with a lot of custom potential. The packs attach to the minifigure by a single torso post. They can be arranged to sit toward the front, side, or back. You can even place two going in different directions without any problems.

Ideally you would want to place one pouch on each side. When only one pouch is in place, there’s a gap on the opposite side between the hip and the torso.

When the ammo pouch is in the side position, it can obstruct full arm movement. The picture above shows how far the arm can go back in this case. The ammo pouches are sold individually and come in seven colors - Black, Dark Blueish Gray, Dark Orange, Dark Tan, Reddish Brown, Tan, and White.

BrickForge Canteen (Silver)
The BrickForge canteen is styled after a general type used by the US military. The canteen is one solid piece, with connection points on either side and on the cap. The canteen can attach to the backpack via the cap (as shown above). The canteen comes in five colors - Black, Bronze, Dark Blueish Gray, Sand Green, and Silver.

BrickForge Shovel (Silver)
The BrickForge shovel is modeled after portable military entrenching tools often carried by infantry soldiers. The piece itself, measures 2.5 cm in length with 1.3 cm of that being the handle. The handle is not long enough for the minifig to grip with two hands, only one. As with the canteen, the shovel can attach to the backpack via the handle (as shown above). The shovel comes in five colors - Black, Bronze, Dark Blueish Gray, Sand Green, and Silver.

M3 sub-machine gun and BrickForge Grease Gun (Dark Blueish Gray)
The BrickForge grease gun is based on the M3 sub-machine gun used by US soldiers during World War II. The M3 was an automatic, air-cooled blowback-operated weapon that fired from an open bolt. The design of the M3 was initiated when the US Army noticed the effectiveness of sub-machine guns being used in Western Europe, such as the British Sten gun. The nickname ‘grease gun’ came from the weapon’s resemblance to the mechanics tool.

The BrickForge grease gun has two primary connection points - the handle of the gun and along the body. The gun measures 2.0 cm in length and 1.3 cm from top to bottom. The gun can only be held by a single hand. The grease gun comes in four colors - Black, Bronze, Dark Blueish Gray, and Silver.

In summary, all of these parts are recommended buys. All of the parts we've covered had firm connections and solid ABS construction. These are great accessories to add additional details to your military style minifigures or other custom creations.

Additional Stats - BrickForge Backpack
Website: www.brickforge.com
Location: United States
International Shipping: Yes (see store for details)
Colors: Black, Dark Blueish Gray, Dark Orange, Dark Tan, Reddish Brown, Tan, and White
Retail Price: $1.50 USD

Additional Stats - BrickForge Ammo Pouch
Colors: Black (sold out), Dark Blueish Gray, Dark Orange, Dark Tan (sold out), Reddish Brown, Tan, and White
Retail Price: $0.75 USD

Additional Stats - BrickForge Canteen
Colors: Black, Bronze, Dark Blueish Gray, Sand Green, and Silver
Retail Price: $1.00 USD

Additional Stats - BrickForge Shovel
Colors: Black, Bronze, Dark Blueish Gray, Sand Green, and Silver
Retail Price: $1.00 USD

Additional Stats - BrickForge Grease Gun
Colors: Black (sold out), Bronze, Dark Blueish Gray, and Silver
Retail Price: $1.00 USD

Reference photos and historical information provided by Wikipedia.

ABP Alert - Amazon has Army Men Packs for $5.99

At $5.99 USD this offer amounts to 60% off the normal price! I've gotten some great mileage out of my LEGO Toy Story Army Men with some head and hand changes. I've heard it said that you are limited to three sets per purchase (an instant 12 man battalion), but I don't see the restriction listed.

Express shipping options can get them there before Christmas, or wait and get free shipping on orders over $25 USD. Check them out at Amazon today!

Now, if only there was a way to buy quality accessories for those soldiers to add variety and play value to your purchase. Hmmm....

Custom Crazy Continues to Tease

Last week we mentioned a new custom house showing off their wares - Custom Crazy. Although nothing has gone on sale yet, they continue to tease us with great product shots. The items above reveal a modular design to their weapons, whereby the weapon heads and handles can be combined. With five weapon heads and five potential handles you get an instant selection of 25 different weapons! An awesome idea and definitely in the spirit of LEGO!

Still no word on when they will launch, but you can check our their website at custom-crazy.com.


Happy LEGO Star Wars 2011 Eve!

...at least that's the rumor flying around the interwebs right now. Sometime tonight (12/20) or tomorrow (12/21) the 2011 LEGO Star Wars sets will be available via LEGO Shop at Home in the US and Canada. Also on tap are a few City and Hero Factory sets.

Since it can be a bit tricky to navigate, I've included a link to LEGO Shop at Home to hopefully make your journey a bit easier. I would recommend checking the new product page periodically if you want to catch these while they are hot.

Right now LEGO is saying that you can get delivery by December 25th, if you order (express) by noon on the 23rd.

If you would like to help, click through via our site before your buy. You can do so via the link above or the LEGO banner at the top of the site page.

Good luck!

Do We Have our First Look at Series 5 Collectible Figs?

FBTB.net has shared their invite to a US Toy Fair meet and greet come February. The invite features several minifigures from upcoming 2011 sets. Chances are you can place all but two of those minifigures. 

So who are the female spacer in blue and the alien with the broad head? I'm guessing these are two Series 5 Collectible Minfigures based on a couple of facts. First, LEGO announced earlier this year that had up through Series 5 already designed. Second, I would find it hard to believe that 2011 would have room for a third space set theme, with the LEGO City Space sets and Star Wars still in play. I guess only time will tell...

(Via FBTB.net)

Eurobricks Christmas Star Wars Photo Contest

Good lord, another contest?! It would seem that the folks at Eurobricks are looking to have a contest mixing the themes of Star Wars and Christmas. A fairly limited window with this one, you have to submit your entry between December 23rd and 31st. You can find out more on the Eurobricks website.